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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 15, 2006

    Recap |  Box Score

    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

    On the hard-fought game against a scrappy South Florida team...
    "You have got to give them a lot of credit. They have been in every game thus far this year and they put a lot of game pressure on us tonight. They are very athletic and they defend you. They are also very quick but they do not have a lot of depth so they tend to get tired towards the end. They will be a heck of a program. I thought we would have played a bit better coming off our last game but we are going to have to be a lot tougher than we were tonight or they are going to put it on us in New Jersey."

    On the teams slow start...
    "I thought we got some pretty good looks. Our defense really saved us in the first half. We had a stretch there where we kept them to 'one-and-dones.' We ran them, which got them a little bit tired. I just do not think we were efficient enough offensively to break it open, but holding them to 55 points defensively is a pretty good effort. We had some good looks but just could not knock them down. We are going to have to score a lot of more than 62 points in New Jersey, I can tell you that much."

    On the play of Rob Kurz...
    "I thought Rob had more energy than anyone else out there tonight and it really showed. He was a big impact guy for us tonight. One thing about Rob Kurz is that he is a warrior. You get that every day. We are going to need that type of energy from him these next two road games."

    South Florida Head Coach Robert McCullum

    On the start of the game...
    "I liked the way we began the game. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of missed opportunities. When we got up 11-6, we had a number of opportunities to build a 10-, 12-point lead. We had needed that for our confidence. We also took the crowd out of the game. Before we knew it, though, we got stuck at 11. There were a number of missed opportunities in transition off rebounds and steals. Unfortunately, we weren't able to take advantage of it offensively."

     

     

    On the first half...
    "We were down 12 points at halftime and 18 of those were off turnovers. We were very fortunate to only be down 12 points at halftime, all things considered. I felt like we came out and got back in the game, although it should've been sooner than it was. Overall, I felt that Notre Dame was more physical than we were. They were quicker to loose balls off deflections. It seemed like they got all of those. Just when we got some momentum going with big defensive stops, they would get a second and third shot off."

    On the second half...
    "I think we did a good job of fronting the post. I was really pleased with the way we defended, particularly the pick and rolls. They are very good at that. There aren't going to be many teams that come in here and defend as well as we did. Again, they were just more physical than we were and we just weren't able to overcome that.

    Notre Dame Players

    Junior Guard Russell Carter On South Florida's intensity in the second half...
    "They were not going to quit. If they did quit we would have won by 30, they kept on fighting. They fought their way back a bit. I tip my hats to them but I am glad we won."

    On what was affecting Notre Dame's offensive rhythm...
    "South Florida is hard-nosed, they are tough on defense and then they grind it out on offense. They play a different style where they like to slow it down and that is what they did tonight."

    On Rob Kurz play tonight...
    "He played a great game, the guy has so much energy. He had more energy than a four-year-old child. He definitely helped us tonight. This may be the best collegiate game I have seen him play, but not his best game ever. I played AAU with him when I was younger and I have seen many great things out of this guy."

    Senior Guard Chris Quinn On South Florida's style of play...
    "They definitely slowed down the pace of the game. A lot of it tonight was us - we didn't do a good job of moving the ball around or getting open looks on offense."

    On the affects of having a week off...
    "You would think it would help us and give us a little extra burst, but we were having trouble knocking shots down in the beginning. Luckily we were doing okay from the defensive end. If you look at our shooting stats, we were not where we normally are."

    Sophomore Forward Rob Kurz On his contributions to today's game...
    "I came in off the bench and I think we went on a little run. I took my shots and ended up with a few points. But I think it was our defense that helped win today's game."

    On his first double-double...
    "I think this game, I made a little bit of an impact. It feels good to have a part in tonight's victory."

    South Florida Player

    Sr. C Solomon Jones On the team's struggle to pick up its first BIG EAST win...
    "It's very frustrating not being able to pull one out. We just have to keep fighting and hopefully we will pull one out sooner or later."

    On the team's turnovers in the first half...
    "Turnovers are the key to every game. We only have a certain margin for error on this team and our turnovers need to be cut down. When we start turning the ball over, bad things happen."

    On the difference in free throw attempts...
    "We only shot about 10 free throws and they shot almost 30. We need to get in the paint and get to the line more, because we didn't do a good job of that tonight."

    On his double-double...
    "I feel like even though I had a double-double it doesn't mean anything because we didn't get a win. It's like when one of my teammates had 35 points against Seton Hall and it didn't get recognized because we didn't get the win. We have to get the victory for individual statistics to matter."

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